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The Harvard University South Asia Institute (SAI) engages faculty and students through interdisciplinary programs to advance and deepen the teaching and research on global issues relevant to South Asia. 

About SAI | View the South Asia Institute video 

Upcoming Events

Fri, June 5, 2015 - Sat, June 6, 2015  /  CGIS South, S010

Transformation Challenges and Opportunities for the Bangladesh Garment Industry

Bangladesh Development Conference 2015

Register here.

This conference will look at identifying and solving the challenges in the transformation of the Bangladesh Garment Industry, analyzing the tools and metrics to measure progress and recommending the best practices for sustainable development.

Participants include:

Government and Non Government Organizations of Bangladesh, USA, and development partner countries, international academics and experts, BGMEA, BKMEA, international brands and retailers, ALLIANCE, ACCORD, workers rights groups, labor organizations, United Nations agencies, international financial institutes.

Cosponsored with SAI, the Harvard University Center for the Environment, and International Sustainable Development Institute, Inc.

Contact: Mohammed Iqbal Yousuf
Conference Coordinator
Harvard Medical School DFCI

June 5, 2015: 12pm to 8pm

June 6, 2015: 8am to 8pm

Please register here.

Fri, Jun 5, 2015

Sat, Jun 6, 2015

CGIS South, S010

1730 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA

Thu, July 30, 2015  /  CGIS Knafel Concourse

Kumbh Mela: Mapping the Ephemeral Megacity Exhibition

Special Exhibition

On display in CGIS Knafel from May 18 until the end of July 2015.

Over fifty Harvard professors, students, administrative staff, and medical practitioners made the pilgrimage to Allahabad, India, to the Kumbh Mela site in 2013, to analyze issues that emerge in any large-scale human gathering. The Kumbh Mela: Mapping the Ephemeral Megacity book and exhibition consolidate research findings and serve as an example of interdisciplinary research conducted at Harvard.



Thu, Jul 30, 2015

Thu, Jul 30, 2015

CGIS Knafel Concourse

1737 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, MA


Lessons from and for Nepal

On May 14, SAI hosted panel discussions featuring faculty from Harvard, MIT, Tufts, and Brown on lessons for Nepal across a broad spectrum of issues, including public health, water and sanitation, reconstruction of heritage sites, and equity in humanitarian efforts.

    Harvard For Nepal

    Harvard for Nepal is a university-wide initiative that aims to unite Harvard in response to the earthquake that devastated Nepal in April 2015.

      David Bloom named Andrew Carnegie Fellow

      Congratulations to David Bloom, SAI Steering Committee member, Clarence James Gamble Professor of Economics and Demography at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, who was named one of 32 inaugural Andrew Carnegie Fellows.

        Q+A with Asma Jahangir

        In an interview with SAI, Jahangir discusses women’s empowerment, freedom of expression, and Pakistan’s complicated political relationships with India and the US. Jahangir delivered the Asia Center’s Tsai Lecture on Mar. 4

          A literary colossus

          The Murty Classical Library of India hopes to introduce a vast corpus of literature, thought, and science to fresh audiences across the world. “It’s completely transformative,” said Parimal Patil, Chair of the Department of South Asian Studies and SAI Steering Committee member.

            Innovative healthcare solutions

            Read highlights from SAI’s roundtable discussion in the Bay Area on India’s healthcare system organized in collaboration with USAID and the South Asian Healthcare Leadership Forum.

              The City and South Asia Podcast: Floating on Waste Islands

              The processes of urbanization, globalization, and climate change have made traditional methods of waste management difficult for the Maldives. In this podcast, SAI talks with Krishna Matturi, recent GSD graduate, about the country’s “unique culture of waste” and its possible solutions.

                Update from the Harvard Club of Nepal

                On Feb. 10, the Harvard Club of Nepal (HCN) hosted an event in Kathmandu with two newspaper editors who discussed the current political situation in the country and the role that media could play in resolving the chaos of constitution-making. The HCN, a group of Harvard alumni, has recently been reactivated.

                  International Photo Contest Winners

                  Congratulations to Gillian Slee, Harvard College ’16, and Sara Melissa Theiss, Harvard College ’15, who were chosen by SAI as winners for the Office of International Education’s Annual International Photo Contest.

                    A US-India comeback?

                    In an op-ed for The Boston Globe, SAI Steering Committee member Nicholas Burns, HKS, explains how President Obama’s visit to India for Republic Day is an important symbolic gesture that may kickstart the revival both countries have been looking for.

                      Kashmir’s women in wait

                      “More than the political aspect, it is understanding how women cope with the phenomenon of disappearances that appealed to me as a filmmaker,” says director Nilosree Biswas in an interview with SAI on the unique culture of Kashmir.

                        The City and South Asia

                        In SAI’s second annual publication, The City and South Asia, experts from a variety of fields, at both Harvard and elsewhere, have come together to hold up a cross-disciplinary lens to urban centers in South Asia.

                          Creating a better India

                          SAI recently talked to Namrata Narain, Harvard College ’15, one of the organizers of the Harvard US-India Initiative’s (HUII) Annual Conference, to learn more about how HUII is working to increase discussions on important issues by connecting young academic communities in India and the US.

                            Tragedy in Pakistan

                            “This is a day of deep reflection. War strategy against extremists, whether through drone strikes or carpet-bombing, must factor in the lives of children beyond collateral damage and prepare especially to protect the most vulnerable in society on both sides.”

                              Shaping problem-solvers

                              A Harvard Gazette article looks at SAI Director Tarun Khanna’s Gen Ed course, which spans disciplines to address social, economic challenges in South Asia.